Scotland 2 Romania 0: Friendly fires Euro hopes
Scotland are warming up nicely for the European Championships in Holland later this summer.
In just over a month’s time the women’s national team kick off their tournament against England, but their preparations couldn’t have got off to a much better start in Falkirk.
Almost 2000 watched the game at Westfield, which included local hero Leanne Ross in the second half, and more tuned in at home via Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. They weren’t to be disappointed.
Immediately Anna Signeul’s team attacked Romania in this friendly match and it paid off within three minutes when Lisa Evans, the Bayern Munich player turned a low cross past Andreea Paraluta.
Caroline Weir hit a swerving free-kick that was pushed away by the goalkeeper just after ten minutes and at the other end Gemma Fay was relatively unbothered, save for a few pases out of her box and goal kicks required of the national side’s record cap holder.
The flood forward from the Scots didn’t let up in the fresh Falkirk evening and Leanne Crichton fired a good chance over fromthe edge of the area on 24 minutes.
Fay was required to get low to stop a good header from Cosmina Dusa after a decent cross into the box from Florentina Olar beat Vaila Barsley and was met by the Konak Belediyespor forward.
The Scottish defence began to be worked harder as the first half edged to a close, but the Scots had been fairly comfortable.
They caught the Romanians out again early in the second half to double their lead though.
A header from Jane Ross couldn’t be kept out by Paraluta after Fiona Brown’s cross from the left.
Brown then went close herself after a flowing move shifted the ball from wing to wing and when the impressive Caoline Weir of Liverpool laid the ball on Brown swept it just over.
The win didn’t come without a cost though, Ifeoma Dieke had to be substituted after a heavy clash midway through the second half and Gemma Fay also needed treatment after being clattered by Alexandra Lunca. The goalkeeper was okay to carry on through her 198th international appearance though, and her quiet evening continued.
Joelle Murray was Dieke’s replacement, and came to the rescue when Olar rounded Gemma Fay only to have the Hibs Ladies defender nip in and clear for a corner.At the other end a snapshot from substitute Erin Cuthbert forced Paraluta to scramble across her goal and claw the ball out for a corner. It would have been no more than the Scots deserved.Coach Anna Signeul will have one last match on Scottish soil as national coach when Scotland meet Republic of Ireland at Stark’s Park in Kirkclady before the summer showpiece kicks off on July 19 against England.